Newly released video shows what led up to an incident between Christopher Pate and former Rochester Police Officer Michael Sippel.
A judge found Sippel guilty of misdemeanor assault in May. He was fired by the police department shortly after.
The charges stemmed from an incident in 2018 in which Sippel and his partner, Spenser McAvoy, stopped Pate, who they claim matched the description of a burglary suspect.
Pate, a 37-year-old black man, said Sippel and McAvoy ripped off his bookbag, tased him and punched him in the face after he was asked to show his ID. Pate suffered a fractured eye and broken jaw as a result.
In November, a grand jury decided to drop charges against McAvoy, but felt the evidence against Sippel was enough to charge him.
In court, body camera footage of the incident was made public for the first time. It showed Pate wrestled to the ground, blood on the pavement, and the moment he was tased.
Another piece of video made public on Monday shows an officer, who is not Sippel, say: "That's why I was asking for your ID but then when you want to be a smart a** then we're going to ding you for crossing the road illegally. That's it."
The same cop goes on to say, "He's freaking so stupid. Everybody wants to think that the white cops are always after the black guy. Well, you [Pate] look like a guy on a wanted board."
In another clip, Pate is shown in the back of a patrol car apologizing to the officers for “giving them a rough time,” begging for mercy and praying. He also cries and mumbles to himself, saying: “I am so sorry. I am, I was wrong, and I accept it. I gave them a hard time. I was wrong. I realize I was wrong.”
Reverend Lewis Stewart, leader of the United Christian Leadership Ministry in Rochester has been following the incident and says he urged the city to release the video to the public months ago. Describing moments leading up to the arrest, Rev. Stewart describes Pate being “humiliated,” saying “No man — white, black or whoever — wants to feel humiliated like that. He is emasculated.”
Rev. Stewart also tells Spectrum News that Pate was represented by an attorney when the charges against him were dropped, and hopes the video and incident can be used to hold police caught in similar situations accountable moving forward.
“It looks poorly on those officers because you could see Christopher Pate was clearly in the right and was a victim of police misconduct and brutality,” Rev. Stewart said.
Sippel is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday, July 25 at 2 p.m.
Watch the full video below.
WARNING: This video contains graphic imagery that some might find disturbing.
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- RPD Officer's Assault Trial Reaches Day 5 of Testimony
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- Judge: Sippel Guilty of Abusing Christopher Pate
- RPD Officer Fired Following Assault Conviction